This homeschool post is from Clarissa of ClarissaRWest.com.
Whether you are a brand-new homeschool mom or have been at it for several years, you will appreciate these brief descriptions of The 5 Stages Of Homeschool Mom Brain.
Disclaimer: these are just for fun, no matter how true (or not) they are! I hope you can relate and find the humor in these descriptions.
The 5 Stages Of Homeschool Mom Brain
- The “Maybe I should Homeschool my Kids” Stage. This stage is mostly made up of questions.
You question your sanity, your kids’ sanity, your homeschool mom friends’ sanity, your husband’s sanity, your non-homeschool mom friends’ sanity, your neighbors’ sanity, the grocery store check-out lady’s sanity, the … you get the point. Pretty much, all sanity is in question.
Why? Because in many ways your entire perspective on education was just thrown off-kilter and you are now questioning everything you’ve ever known about educating a child.
This is a good thing. It will push you to learn all you can about this “alternative education” method. Which brings us to the next stage …
- The “Homeschooling Is THE Best Educational Option That Exists” Stage. This stage is filled with awe & wonder, on your part.
Once your eyes are opened to the possibilities of home educating your child, you simply can’t stop thinking, talking, and dreaming about all of the benefits of homeschooling. You talk about homeschooling all.of.the.time. to your husband, parents, siblings, friends, neighbors and when you are at church, at the store, and whenever you get any indication (no matter how slight) that someone is interested.
You start annoying everyone around you with “homeschool talk”. You even start annoying yourself.
Inevitably, this causes you to encounter at least some resistance, defensiveness, and criticism from those you have “the conversation” with (understandably). Which leads us to the next stage …
- The “I Must Prove Myself To Everyone I Meet” Stage. This stage is full of imagined/realized standards and expectations placed on you by “everyone else”.
From the other homeschool moms to the in-laws and strangers at the store, you are suddenly very aware of what others think about your choice to homeschool. You spend time before and after every encounter giving yourself pep-talks and/or analyzing every single lesson plan (or lack thereof).
You compare and contrast every curriculum choice, how relaxed or strict you are, what time you start/end your school lessons, what you feed your kids (literally, and figuratively through books, internet, etc.), and parenting in general. You decide “you are failing.”
This is when you remind yourself that you first embraced home education because you found freedom there. You remember that that freedom allows for flexibility, customization, individuality, and meaningful friendships. Which is where the next stage comes in …
- The “I Found My Homeschool Tribe” Stage. This is the stage of growth.
After falling flat on your face, you pick yourself back up, brush yourself off, and sip a cup of coffee while marveling at how God works. Over a few years (give or take) of homeschooling, He has given you many learning opportunities, stretched your faith, brought you real friends, filtered out the not-so-great-people from your life, and gave you a peace you didn’t know you needed.
This is when you gain some footing, stability, and confidence in this “homeschool life”. No, you don’t have it all figured out, but you know that it will all be okay anyway.
You can laugh at your early-year thoughts and attitudes, expectations and plans … now you have found your groove as well as the people who “get you”. These are not people who always agree with everything you say, do, or teach, but they are people who encourage, pray for, and understand you. And, now we arrive at our final stage …
- The “Homeschooling Is Like Parenting” Stage. This stage is full of grace, hope, and trust.
Now that you are a little older, wiser, and have a handful of homeschooling years under your belt, you know that homeschooling is like parenting and that parenting looks different for every family. The best part is that the “right way” to do both (homeschooling and parenting) is broader than you thought.
You have learned to put the heart and character of your children first like all parents must. You have learned to give other families a break like you want in return.
You have learned that homeschooling, like parenting, is hard work and that you all need grace. You are full of hope as you think about your child’s future. And, most importantly, you can trust the Lord with it all.
Clarissa is a Christian, Wife, Homeschool Mom to 7 Children with Medical & Special Needs, Grieving Mom to 1 Child in Heaven, Homemaker, and Writer. You can find her at www.ClarissaRWest.com sharing practical tips & encouraging others to count blessings, seek joy, and find strength in Jesus.